Fujifilm gives up on Xerox acquisition, to dissolve 57-year-old JV

06, Nov. 2019

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TOKYO, Kyodo - Fujifilm Holdings Corp. said Tuesday it has scrapped a plan to take a majority stake in Xerox Corp. after opposition to their deeper business integration and will dissolve their joint venture to terminate 57 years of partnership.

Fujifilm said it will buy a 25 percent stake in Fuji Xerox Co. for $2.3 billion from the U.S. copier maker to discontinue the copy machine joint venture by making it into a wholly owned subsidiary.

The decision comes after Fujifilm's plan to take a 50.1 percent stake in Xerox and merge it with the joint venture was derailed by Xerox activist shareholders Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, who claimed the U.S. company was being undervalued.

As their tie-up will be ended, Fujifilm will also withdraw litigation it filed last year claiming damages of $1 billion for the unilateral cancellation of the merger deal by Xerox.

Fujifilm said it is now looking to go global without the help of the U.S. company.

“We will never seek to merge with Xerox (again) and will go on our own way,” Fujifilm Chairman and CEO Shigetaka Komori told a press conference.

The merger plan proposed by Xerox “was never a requisite,” he added.

“These agreements reset our relationship with Fujifilm and provide both companies with tremendous opportunities to grow, together and independently,” said John Visentin, CEO of Xerox said in a statement.

The two companies unveiled the initial deal in January 2018 to bolster their global sales by combining the strengths of Xerox and the joint venture in the North American and Asian markets, respectively.

But the merger plan was unilaterally terminated in May that year by Xerox after opposition from the two shareholders.

Xerox reached a settlement with them, under which Jeff Jacobson, who worked with Fujifilm on the merger deal, stepped down as chief executive officer and the management was reshuffled, with the majority of the new board consisting of members sent by Icahn.

Fuji Xerox will continue to supply Xerox but will also expand from Asia into the United States and Europe. (Kyodo)

Fujifilm CEO Shigetaka Komori
Fujifilm CEO Shigetaka Komori

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